Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

Full credits to Pinch Of Yum

Ingredients
  • 112g salted butter
  • 80g granulated sugar
  • 55g packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 192g all purpose flour (more as needed)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 130 g chocolate chips
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Microwave the butter for  30-40 seconds to just barely melt it. It shouldn’t be hot – but it should be almost entirely in liquid form.
  2. Using a stand mixer or electric beaters, beat the butter with the sugars until creamy. Add the vanilla and the egg; beat on low speed until just incorporated – 10-15 seconds or so (if you beat the egg for too long, the cookies will be stiff).
  3. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until crumbles form. Use your hands to press the crumbles together into a dough. It should form one large ball that is easy to handle (right at the stage between “wet” dough and “dry” dough). Add the chocolate chips and incorporate with your hands.
  4. Roll the dough into 12 large balls (or 9 for HUGELY awesome cookies) and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes until the cookies look puffy and dry and just barely golden. DO NOT OVERBAKE. They’ll be pale and puffy.
  5. Let them cool on the pan for a good 30 minutes or so. They will sink down and turn into these dense, buttery, soft cookies.  Cookies should stay soft for many days if kept in an airtight container.
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3.14am

First and foremost, let me get this off my chest – if you do decide to read my blogposts from several years ago, kindly consider the fact that I was younger then because – I admit –  they can be quite embarrassing.

It’s 3.14 am as I’m typing this. I’ve just finished baking cookies to give some of my friends later. I didn’t make much – enough for 9, 1 large soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie for each person. What’s the occasion, you might ask? I graduate from poly today. I had imagined graduation to be an occasion to be proud of but, honestly, I don’t have strong feelings about it.

I should really sleep, especially as I require ample rest to fuel me for a busy day ahead but I drank a full mug of strong black coffee less than 3 hours ago. I honestly tried, but my attempts have been futile. Coffee works that way for me.

I was browsing through Pinterest earlier and having chanced upon writing tips made me realise just how much I miss writing. I’ve always enjoyed writing (novels) but hardly have the commitment to complete them. When it comes to reading, I bask in a writer’s ability to describe a situation so well, allowing readers to precisely picture the situation. I aspire to write that well. InsyaAllah I will make time for it once the buzz in my life has died down. The past week has been bustling but I’m not complaining because I take pleasure in knowing I’ve made full use of my time. I love being productive but sometimes, the laze bugs just get the better of you, you know? They can be quite insisting…

Love, Amelia

 

 

 

A Bigger Purpose; A Healthier Me

Since the start of 2017, I have been attempting to maintain a healthier diet and inculcate more exercise into my routine. I’ve begun to comprehend the importance of both in ensuring a healthier me, physically and mentally.

I’m quite proud of myself, I daresay. I’ve been exercising rather regularly now, and am incorporating more fruits and vegetables into my diet while cutting out the less healthy foods. I’ll admit that I find it difficult to cut out sugar most of all. I love my sweets and I find that I consume something sweet (chocolate, pastry, etc) at least once a day. Sometimes, I do feel burdened by having to eat healthy all the time because a part of me misses the times when I used to eat without constantly caring about portions, calories, etc.

I feel vulnerable admitting this, but I know that the reasons behind me making this lifestyle change aren’t all healthy. A part of me wants to do this to ‘look good’. While I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong, I think it’s more important to want to keep healthy for a bigger, wholesome purpose.

During my worse days, I tend to feel like I’m too far gone  – it’s too late for me to make a change. So I continue to shove junk into my system. Which, then, makes me feel worse.

I want this lifestyle alteration to make me a better, healthier and stronger person, not the other way round. I am trying very hard to not let things like calories and macros consume me too much, such that it becomes detrimental to my mental health. I will not beat myself up over a doughnut I ate. I will not deprive myself of something I terribly crave. I will not force myself to eat foods I don’t enjoy eating just to ‘keep healthy’. On the other hand, I will not excessively consume unhealthy foods. I will not exceedingly idolise fitness enthusiasts to a point where it destructs my mental health.

I will eat whatever I wish like eating in moderation. I will only integrate nutritious foods that I enjoy eating into my diet. I will use other people’s health and fitness journey strictly as motivation, whilst understanding the differences that accompany each person’s journey.

I will do this for me, for a larger purpose. I will love myself unconditionally. InsyaAllah.

Love, Amelia.

 

 

Ribeye Steak

I just wanted to share my steak-making experience, particularly for me to remember.

My first try was pretty much horrible. The steak turned out too salty and too tough. I wanted to make well done steak but know that it’s virtually impossible for it to turn out juicy/tender/soft. So when I found a recipe that claims to produce a juicy well done steak, I was elated. It didn’t turn out how I wanted it to be, of course.

The recipe calls for the steak to be cooked on a skillet on high heat for 5-6 mins on each side, then transferred to an oven to allow it to cook off. Ingredients include salt, thyme, butter. I really wanted to do a good job so I made sure I followed the recipe to a T. I cooked the steak for 5 mins on each side and it already was practically hard as rock. The taste was horrible because the saltiness overpowered whatever flavour that was present. Unfortunately, when I prepared the steak, I was unsure of how much salt to put. All the recipes I found did not specify, and after much research, I found a website that recommended adding a generous amount because “only the exterior of the steak would come into contact with the salt”, which meant that its center would be bland. I thought that made sense, and so I did. Excessively.

I guess it’s safe to say that my first try was a complete failure. I was disgruntled because the steak was not cheap. It wasn’t prime or anything, but it still was expensive for me.

The second time, thankfully, was a much better experience. I gathered several recipes and picked out useful information from each. The steak was tasty but still slightly tough. I should have measured the thickness of the steak but I didn’t. I presume it was marginally less than an inch thick. It’s always good to get steak that’s at least an inch thick, however.

This was the recipe I ended up using for well done steak:

For one ribeye steak (specifically ribeye),

  • ¾ teaspoon sea/Kosher salt (absolutely no table salt)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 whole garlic (optional)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • A knob of butter

Method

  1. Remove steak from the refrigerator and let them
    sit for about 30 minutes or until room temperature.
  2. Coat steak (with fat attached; it gives flavour) with black pepper and set aside.
  3. Heat skillet until very hot and add oil and butter. Allow butter to foam a little.
  4. Add salt and whole garliconto skillet. Allow to heat up for 1 minute.
  5. Place steak on coarse salt and cook for 2.5 minutes; do not disturb at all.
  6. Turn steak and cook for another 2.5 minutes; again, do not disturb at
    all. (As the steak I bought was rather thin, 2.5 minutes on high heat would be enough to cook it to well done. However, I cooked mine for 3 minutes each side, but later found it still a tad tough. Adjust timing according to thickness of steak.)
  7. Scrape excess salt and pepper if desired and
    discard.
  8. Allow steak to rest for 10 mins.
  9. Remove fat from steak before serving.
  10. Slice the steaks on an angle
    about ¼ inch to 3/8 inch thickness if desired.

Thoughts

Wheee just came back from a 5km run!! My longest and fastest one yet, Alhamdulillah. I prefer morning jogs though, I realise! Somehow, I find that I experience heartburn (??) or slight discomfort nearly every time I run at night.

I’m liking running more now but I really wish I was more consistent in my weekly runs. I tend to be lazy to get my ass out of the house when I don’t have a running buddy. Also, great news! – my knees don’t hurt anymore!! Perhaps it’s due to the shoes I was wearing.

Anyway, I came across a post on Instagram glorifying a Black teenager who invented a now popular surgical technique with a #blackslayingit hashtag and a thought crossed my mind. I see such posts a lot and while I am all for appreciating all races, I find that such hashtags tend to be counterproductive. I completely understand how proud a certain race must feel when their racial counterpart attains success. I mean, I feel proud when I see Malays achieving great things and I may pay homage to them. It’s just that when you attach such a hashtag, it kinds of denotes a certain form of racial supremacy. I don’t know, it’s my honest opinion. I may be wrong. But because that’s how I feel, such posts often vex me. I don’t mean any offence when I say this, do believe me! Perhaps this is their way of lauding their race after having put up with a lot of discrimination in the past and probably even now.

Ah I don’t know where I’m going with this. I shall end here for now.

Empty Shops

Do you ever walk pass an empty shop/store/restaurant and feel so sad for the owners?  I get excessively affected – I cannot help it. I tell myself not to let it affect me because honestly, it has nothing to do with me, but I simply cannot pretend I don’t care. Is that weird? I care so much that I have come to hate walking pass/ looking at empty shops. If I see one, I instantly turn my gaze away. I may not know much about business but I do know it is not easy. I’ve heard that many struggle to keep up with the rent in Singapore and it makes me sad. Perhaps it’s not actually as bad as it seems – in any case, I wish nothing but the best for them. Truly.

Courtship and Dating

Today, let’s talk about courtship and dating, just because I’ve been dwelling on it a lot and I simply want to let out and systematise my thoughts so I can understand myself better.

First off, I know some girls think that us girls shouldn’t have to feel like we need a man because it unveils a sense of dependency. While I completely support the concept of independence, I do believe that being in a relationship/ marriage doesn’t make a woman any less independent. We can still be independent and be married. It really isn’t mutually exclusive. Plus, it is, after all, an innate human nature to crave love!!! We do. And since I am human, I sometimes (kind of) (want) (a guy) (to share my joys and sorrow with) (I felt shy admitting that adskhkscksnjks). All my life I’ve always known I want to get married because it is the right way of pursuing a relationship. However, I am single and have always been – though not at all concerned, at the moment – because of several reasons.

Firstly, I am extreeeeemely shy when it comes to the opposite gender (yes, only gender). My conversations with males comes in 2 forms: 1) only when necessary (i.e. school) and 2) not face to face. Even when my conversations with males are necessary, I cannot, for the life of me, talk to them comfortably face to face. It might sound strange because I have talked to guys online before (never initiated by me) (gravely regret for some), but believe me, I rarely enjoy them because I get tremendously awkward. 

Secondly, I am not fond of the idea of interest on the basis of looks. I used to be very flattered when guys show interest in me, but I got tired of it because their interest is based only – or at least almost entirely – on my exterior. I can be quite critical, but logically, it is impossible to remain flattered when you know a guy is interested in you without knowing who you are. It’s essentially an interest without depth and I can’t really bask in the grounds of such an affinity.

Thirdly, I am not a talker. I don’t even talk to my best friends daily. Having to reply constantly is very tiring and just not my thing. Don’t quote me on this but based on my experience, when it comes to conversations with guys, they almost always want to talk all day. When you start out talking aaaaalll day – introducing each other; talking about interests; blabla – you eventually have less things to talk about because the initial introduction phase is done with (the introduction phase is okay if what we talk about is interesting). But when you don’t have anything to talk about, small talk often becomes the way to go to keep the conversation going (i.e. ‘what did you eat?’, ‘what are you doing?’ but in Malay most of the time so ‘dah makan?’, ‘makan ape?’, ‘buat ape tu?’ (cringe)) which is not interesting at all. When conversations become uninteresting, you kind of just wish you never replied the person in the first place because you know once it dies down, you will suddenly stop talking for good. It definitely also has to do with how well you relate to the person. I haven’t been lucky in the area so far – not that I’m complaining. And because I am often uninterested in the person and shy, I rarely do the asking, which makes it hard to keep a conversation going. 

Fourth, I can never bring myself to be chummy with males who are not my mahram. I might be wrong, but I am pretty sure that in a relationship or whatever that comes before, most (?) people would expect the other to be affectionate/ caring. It make sense, but I cannot ever do that. A part of me thinks it’s disconcerting because the guy is not my mahram and it just does not seem right to me. I want to try my best to get to know someone the Islamic way. I believe there is a misconception that Islamic courtship doesn’t allow us to thoroughly learn about our potential partner. It is possible through group meetings but I don’t think we should worry so much because as long as we are doing it right while constantly praying for guidance, we can leave it to Allah to choose the right partner for us.

Fifth, I wasn’t ready. I felt that at 17/18/19, I was still too young to be involved in any form of relationship/dating because the earliest earliest age I would marry is 20. I didn’t think I would have the patience and confidence to sustain a ‘relationship’ (as we call it) for 2/3 years or more because in that time frame, a lot of things can happen. I also do not wish to delay marriage if I find myself compatible with a person. And so I stopped talking to guys/ lost interest in talking to guys because I felt that it would be a waste of time since I did not want to commit to it. My ultimate objective when getting to know someone would be to eventually marry. I don’t want to date or ‘kenal-kenal’ just for the sake of it. I’ve had some adults tell me that “there is nothing to lose”, “you never know when the right guy will come along, so just talk”, but you see, after factoring in all the reasons above, I often end up avoiding the situation altogether. People might say I think too much but I see great importance in marriage as an end goal and I will gladly stick by my principles. 

Lastly, marriage shouldn’t be taken lightly. Marriage is a tremendous responsibility. It’s not simply about love and because of that, it requires careful consideration. 

 

Simply A Bad Time

I have come to the conclusion that my mother is simply experiencing a bad time.

I used to get annoyed and sometimes even angry at her when she throws tantrums. Well, I wouldn’t really say ‘throw’, but like her, when I’m angry, I do tend to show it and make sure people know that I’m not happy even if they don’t care. In fact, I am very much like my mother which is why as I grow up, I’ve learnt to understand her better. And because I’m able to understand her, I’m better able to manage with her moods.

(I’m just very disappointed because I planned to cook steak for her and bring her to Swensen’s for her birthday but neither happened.) 

But while I can manage with her moods better, I’m having an internal turmoil about how to resolve it. For instance, I tend to stay away from her when she’s not in a good mood. I don’t know, but like, you know some children would try to make their parents happy and cheer them up when they’re upset? I don’t – not necessarily because I don’t want to, but more because I don’t know how to. I seem to have this perception that my mother is the type who would prefer to be left alone when upset. I’m not at all sure if that’s how she likes it but that’s what I prefer, so I sort of assumed she’s like that too. But, I don’t know, should I talk to her? Surprise her (with the steak)? I still want to make her steak, though. Plus, I’ve bought the ingredients… But I don’t know how to happily surprise her when I find it awkward to talk to her now (always happens when we’ve fought/ we end up strangely not talking (like now) (because we didn’t exactly fight)).

Sorry I’m rambling.

But really, I don’t know how to approach this! When something like this happens, my mother is always the one who will break the silence (i.e. start talking cordially). I never start because I kind of feel like she has more right than me as a mother, and if she – the one with ‘greater authority’ – is talking to me, it means it’s okay for me to talk to her. It’s sort of like her talking to me is a green light for me to talk normally to her. Do I make sense?

Chocolate Mug Cake

Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture to glorify this excellent mug cake which I sort of created. But trust me, it’s so light and fluffy, it’s almost like you put in a whole lot of effort to make it.

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp melted unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp chocolate chips
  • 6 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/8 cup light brown sugar (increase amount as you wish, max ¼ cup. I prefer mine not sweet)
  • ¼ cup plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1 egg white (omit if fudgy texture preferred)

Method

  1. Combine melted butter and ¼ cup chocolate chips into a mug and heat in a microwave at 30 sec intervals until chocolate is fully melted.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  3. Cook in a microwave for no longer than 90 secs.
  4. Enjoy!!

Morals vs Money/Power

Is money and power that great that we would go against our morals just so we can achieve them easily? Honestly, why? I obviously know that not all of us are like that, but a lot of the problems we see today are a result of human actions.I feel so sad thinking about it. It’s just so freaking sad. I simply cannot emphasize it enough.

Btw I kind of reallllllly wanna learn about the criminal justice system and all the things related to it now. I have always been interested, just that I didn’t think I would want to pursue a career in the field. I still am interested in Social Work but let’s say I don’t get accepted into NUS or UniSIM, I would be happy to accept SIT’s offer. Besides, I still can do social work with a Criminology degree. And I get to go to Liverpool. And the school is so freaking near my house (which is the best factor because I HATE TRAVELLING. But just freaking think about it. I can wake up at least 1.5 hrs before school starts!!!!!). And there are British lecturers (lol, not that great but still). And if I really end up not getting accepted into NUS or UniSIM, I won’t be sad (insyaAllah) because I trust Allah. I really wanted Social Work, but you know what they say. You can plan as much as you want but Allah is still the best of Planners. The thing that will make me most sad, though, is if I disappoint my mum by not being accepted to NUS. She really wants that but I don’t think it will happen…Sigh